Stepping it Up- Learning About Blogs FOR your Students

Blogging with your students is a process, not an end in itself!

Blogging is a process, that mirrors the effort you and your students put into it. Learning the logistics of using a blogging platform is easy.

Experiencing the shift in teaching and learning takes time and pedagogical commitment.

As teachers, we need to be aware of  blogging potential in relationship to learning. We need to formulate and address intended student learning outcomes beyond checking off “technology integration” on our lesson plans.

In this workshop, your facilitator will share a guide for educators with step-by-step directions  to learn about blogging FOR their students.

We will look at the following essential components of the process:

Reading

Becoming an avid blog reader of a variety of other blogs will help expose teachers to the potential blogging holds. As we read blogs regularly, the better we will become in RECOGNIZING learning opportunities, GAGING the quality (or lack) of our own students’ blogs.

Writing

Writing addresses the need for teacher to be writers (bloggers) and to experience the process of learning for themselves, if they are to teach/model/coach/facilitate writing via student blogs. We acknowledge that most of us (teachers) did not grow up with blogs, nor did someone teach us how to write our own blog or comment. If we require our students to blog,  we need to be become knowledgeable about blog writing.

Commenting

We are our students’ first and primary commenters. When we comment on our students’ blogs, we model quality writing AND content as well as encourage them to expand their own horizons to make connections in the online world. It takes time to learn how to become a quality commenter FOR our students.

Connecting

We need to make a conscious effort to connect our students to a global authentic audience. A global audience for our classroom or individual student blogs does not happen on its own. How do teachers drive traffic to their students’ blogs in order to connect them to an audience?

Reciprocating

If we expect others (educators, mentors, etc.) to take the time to comment on OUR students’ blogs, we need to be prepared to reciprocate. If we want our students to have an audience, we need to be the audience for others. Teach your students to leave quality comments on other blogs with a link back to their own blog or formally volunteer to be a mentor teacher for other blogging classes or students.

Consistency

We understanding that blogging is not about technology, but about literacies (old & new) and learning. Blogging is a process, not an event that happens as a culminating activity to a lesson or unit.
Consistency, in using blogs as a platform, constitutes a building block to build classroom learning communities and to experience the cognitive process of learning over a period of time.

Quality

Reading, responding, assessing and monitoring our students’ progress on their blog requires pedagogical commitment. It is a commitment to student learning, not a commitment to using a specific technology platform. How does an assessment for student blogging look like? How can teachers recognize, encourage and support quality student (digital) writing?